Dashin Haze is the 2022 Nutrena Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year presented by AQHA

Dashin Haze is the 2022 Nutrena Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year presented by AQHA

Dashin Haze takes a third Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year title.

Man jumping off of bay horse to wrestle a steer to the ground.

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By Lane Karney and Kendra Santos 

Professional rodeo cowboys are quick to credit their four-legged counterparts, and AQHA has supported the recognition of pro rodeo’s best timed-event horses for more than 30 years. Canadian Curtis Cassidy’s Dashin Haze, who’s best known as “Tyson,” just pulled off a threepeat as the 2022 Nutrena Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, presented by AQHA. It’s no coincidence that five of the Top 15 cowboys in the big-man’s event have ridden the notorious brown bomber of bulldogging this season. 

“That third win is awfully cool and something I never expected,” says Curtis, an eight-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “When we started him a long time ago, we could tell the speed was there, he was smart and wanted to be good. But for Tyson to win it three times in a row is a great accomplishment for the horse.

“Willy (Cassidy’s RTR Little Willy, who carried four men to steer wrestling gold buckles and was the 2008 Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year) only won it once.”

Tyson is working hard at the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, as he's serving as the mount for Will Lummus, Kyle IrwinRowdy ParrottJ. D. Struxness and Jesse Brown, and Curtis is hazing for them. Through the sixth round, these guys have picked up nearly $250,000 in winnings. But there are four more rounds to go.

Throughout the rodeo season, Tyson was primarily ridden by Curtis, J. D. and Jesse. He was also ridden by Will, Kyle and Rowdy Parrott punch their tickets to rodeo’s Super Bowl. This third win ties Tyson for most Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year honors ever with Larry Ferguson’s Doc Bee Quick (“Doc” won it 1989-91) and Rodney, Jacob and James Burks’ FF Zans A Baron Jack (“Zan” took the title from 2004-06).

Though there is no award for the hazing horse of the year, it’s tough to talk about a steer wrestling horse of this caliber without mentioning his running mate, who helps line every steer. 

“That haze horse, ‘Salty’ (registered as Easy Holland), probably has better papers than Tyson,” Curtis says. “At this level, it’s super important to have your bulldogging team equally matched. Ideally, you want the hazing horse a little faster to be able to get up there and shut steers down. A badass haze horse can do so much for the bulldogging horse and really help him shine.” 

Now 17 years old, Tyson was a former graded stakes-placed runner in Canada who earned $30,269 on the track. He then became a barrel horse, so he got a relatively late start in his steer wrestling career. While Curtis didn’t start running him by steers until he was 10, Tyson has certainly cemented himself into rodeo’s record books. He’s tough and consistently reliable. In fact, Curtis named the horse after legendary boxer Mike Tyson because of his toughness. 

“Tyson is user friendly and so tough,” says Curtis, who calls Donalda, Alberta, home. “That week of San Juan (Capistrano, California), we went from Kennewick and Bremerton (Washington) to an all-night drive to San Juan, then right back to Jesse Brown’s in Baker City (Oregon), where Tyson had one day off before we went to Walla Walla and Ellensburg (Washington) slack, then up to Armstrong (British Columbia) and back down to Ellensburg. 

“Tyson spent more days in the trailer than he had days off, then J. D. won Ellensburg on him that Monday (Labor Day). The thing about Tyson is it doesn’t matter if you’re the first guy or the last guy on him that day, he’s going to try his butt off and be good for you.” 

While Cassidy, J. D. and Jesse were Tyson’s 2022 mainstays, and this horse helped Will, Kyle and Rowdy all earn another NFR back number, he also provided rides to Curtis’ Canadian countrymen Tanner Milan, Stephen Culling and Ryan Shuckburgh. In San Juan Capistrano alone this summer, Tyson delivered six of the top-10 money-earning cowboys to the pay window for $33,253. J. D, Jesse and Kyle plan to ride Tyson at the NFR in December. 

“Tyson is special for how easy he is to ride, too,” Curtis says. “Rowdy, who had never ridden him, got on and won on him at San Juan. When a guy gets on a horse he has never ridden, and he fits like a glove, that is a testament to the horse.”

Tyson was bred by Shady Lane Stables of Leslieville, Alberta, and is by AQHA racing champion Royal Quick Dash, out of Sheza Special Chick by the American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Chicks Beduino

The Nutrena Horse of the Year awards, presented by AQHA, are determined by a vote of the top 25 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association cowboys and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association cowgirls. Clayton Hass’ Be Dun By Three, aka “Benz,” finished second in this year’s voting. Patrionic Dash, who’s best known as “Mable,” owned by Garrett Henry and ridden by Stetson Jorgenson, was third. Benz and Mable are also being ridden by steer wrestlers at the NFR, so their earnings are also continuing to climb.